Saina Nehwal set to return to top 10, HS Prannoy to climb to career-best ranking
After a power-packed week of action at the continental championships which saw some breathtaking performances, there will be a few major changes in the upcoming world rankings to be released by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) on Thursday, May 3rd.
Courtesy of their performances at the Badminton Asia Championships 2018, two-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist Saina Nehwal will return to World top 10 while HS Prannoy and Kidambi Srikanth are both set to climb up. Prannoy, in fact, will climb up to a career-best ranking of World No. 8. PV Sindhu, meanwhile, will maintain her World No. 3 ranking despite a not-so-good outing in Wuhan.
Saina, who has been in terrific form since the Commonwealth Games, will climb up by two places to World No. 10. In Wuhan, the 28-year-old enjoyed a scintillating run as she made it to the semifinals and claimed her third medal at the continental championships. On her way to the last 4, she did not drop a single game. However, in the semis, she met old nemesis, Tai Tzu Ying. Despite a brave fight, the Indian shuttler went down 25-27, 19-21 in an epic clash.
Tai Tzu eventually went on to win the gold medal, beating Chen Yufei in the final. And in the absence of Akane Yamaguchi, the Chinese Taipei star is all set to climb back to World No. 1.
In men's singles, Viktor Axelsen strengthened his stay at the top by winning the European Championships. However, with both Chen Long and Shi Yuqi set to drop points, Srikanth, who crashed out in the quarters at the Asian Championships, is all set to climb two places to World No. 3. While Yuqi was ousted in the Round of 16, Long did make it to the finals. However, the Chinese shuttler could not defend his title.
Prannoy, on the other hand, will climb up two rungs to World No. 8 after enjoying a superb week in Wuhan. The 25-year-old, who missed out on a medal in Gold Coast, made it to the semifinal by beating World No. 2 Son Wan Ho in the quarters. However, in the last 4, he lost to Long and settled for bronze. Lin Dan, who suffered a first-round loss in Wuhan, will drop two places to No.10. Sai Praneeth, the other Indian shuttler in top 20, will also climb up by one place to 18th.
Men's doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty will cling on to their World No. 18 rank. However, in mixed doubles, Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy will fall by two places to 23rd.